Armando Iannucci, a man possessing a preternatural gift for telling serious stories with a puckish twist, has taken on the classic Dickens tale of David Copperfield, and infused it with sparkling new life while remaining true to the original’s spirit. After all, despite his sometimes cloying sentimentality, Dickens spared his readers nothing when describing the… Read More »
It is, perhaps, a truism that every generation gets the Batman or Superman that they need/deserve. With Todd Philips’ JOKER, though, we get more than a cultural gloss of the zeitgeist. We get a funhouse mirror that lurks deep within a house of horrors that is an extrapolation of what happens when the 1% of… Read More »
As a trenchant examination of the roots, expression, and consequences of toxic masculinity, THE ART OF SELF DEFENSE has no peers. As a black comedy told with a straight face and a tone of conviction, it is a first rate guilty pleasure. Any film that can draw guffaws as a small child is gently choked… Read More »
DOWNSIZING is a film that cries out to be admired. Pondered. Parsed. Philosophical propositions and social commentary flit by in a mad whirl of arch observation and deadpan dea as we are invited to consider a veritable cornucopia of topics, all eminently worthy of examination. The class struggle and the human propensity for prejudice; the… Read More »
Turning gender roles neatly on their heads, Amy Schumer has created a screwball comedy of considerable substance. Taking sure aim at the abomination of the formula rom-com, she satirizes not just the genre, but the state of contemporary single-hood. Starring in a script of her own devising, she is fearless, relentless, and completely unapologetic as the titular hot mess, also named Amy, with commitment issues and a healthy libido.
CHAPPIE is a cross between Pinicchio and ROBOCOP with a dash of DISTRICT 9. That last is unsurprising because CHAPPIE is the brainchild of Neill Blomkamp, and many of the elements at work in that earlier film about the meaning of humanity are at work in this one. The battleground is still South Africa, Blomkamp’s… Read More »
Jason Reitman was in a puckish mood when I talked to him in October of 2009. UP IN THE AIR had not yet opened, so the critical acclaim and multiple awards hadn’t begun. During a conversation that ranged from the current economic climate, to the putative difficulty of making George Clooney look anything but ravishing, Reitman… Read More »